Helmer returns to Italy with familiar cast, crew

Italo helmer Paolo Sorrentino (“This Must Be the Place”) will shoot “La grande bellezza” (The Great Beauty), a Rome-set pic, starring Toni Servillo (“Il Divo”) and other top Italo talent Carlo Verdone and Sabrina Ferilli.

“Beauty” marks Sorrentino’s return to shooting in Italy with local thesps after “Place,” which toplined Sean Penn and Frances McDormand, was set in Ireland and the U.S., and competed in Cannes last year.

While story details are being kept under wraps, the city of Rome and its grotesque glamourous society and arts world underbelly are believed to feature prominently.

“Beauty” will reunite Sorrentino with Servillo, who has starred in three of his five previous pics, including, most memorably, “Il Divo,” where he played bigwig Italo pol Giulio Andreotti. Comic Verdone and Ferilli give pic wide local appeal.

Pic is co-penned by Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello, who also worked on “Place.” Luca Bigazzi, who also shot “Place,” will lense.

Shooting is skedded to start in August in the Eternal City with Indigo Film and Medusa co-producing with Gaul’s Babe Films.

Pathe is launching international sales in Cannes.

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